Position Overview:

  • Know how to organize books according to the Planetree system
  • Have an interest in books (preferably medical books)
  • Must work well with people and have great social skills
  • Must be able to help customers find specific medical information
  • Must be able to use a computer and the Internet

DRESS: Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing (nice jeans or slacks) that is neat in appearance. Name badges are required.

WORKING CONDITIONS: A shift at the library usually consists of four hours; however, accommodations may be made depending on what is best for the volunteer and the librarian. Shifts are usually from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., or the schedule agreed upon by the volunteer and the librarian.


  • Ability to embrace the Planetree Philosophy of Patient Centered Care
  • Ability to demonstrate a genuine interest in helping others and places high value on treating others with dignity and respect
  • Ability to relate well to others
  • Willingness to successfully complete appropriate training and accept direction from paid staff
  • Ability to preserve confidentiality
  • Ability to perform duties without constant, direct supervision
  • Ability to maintain a professional, positive attitude
  • Ability to complete tasks with staff direction

General Responsibilities and Service Values:

  • Personalize each experience by attending to spoken and unspoken needs
  • Humanize each experience by participating in a healing partnership
  • Demystify each experience through communication, education and information
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Work well with and communicate with coworkers in assigned department
  • Respond appropriately to requests for assistance
  • Respond positively to changes and accept change
  • Seek and use guidance from supervisor and/or appropriate resource, including informing supervisor of issues and concerns
  • Follow instructions
  • Work is neat, accurate and complete


  1. Open and/or close the library
  2. Record library visits in Log Book
  3. Assist customers in locating books on a specific topic
  4. Check out books, renew books and return books
  5. Re-shelve books accurately
  6. Assist library visitors with the public computers
  7. Assist customers in locating high quality health information online
  8. Document specific article requests from clinicians and forward this information to the librarian
  9. Assist with literature search requests by documenting the request and forwarding the request to the librarian when necessary. It is vital to obtain enough information so that the librarian can properly perform the literature search. Literature search requests come from patients, community members, physicians, nurses or other clinical staff, and hospital staff.
  10. Contact overdue borrowers to renew or return books
  11. Protect privacy of visitors by keeping voices low during discussion
  12. Assist librarian with book and/or journal processing
  13. Create book displays
  14. Assist librarian with outreach events if scheduling allows
  15. Further personal knowledge about library services, for example: take online tutorials regarding finding and evaluating credible Internet health information
  16. Perform additional varied library tasks as they arise

Empowering our community with reliable resources to support informed healthcare decisions for everyone: including patients, family, friends, medical professionals and the public

To be the foremost visible path to optimum health through access to credible, timely healthcare resources and research support

Download Volunteer Service Description PDF.